“I used my launch to cross the lake surrounded by gecko-infested bamboo fields in search of a restaurant where they would serve cootie-free ketchup…”
|Rafflesias bloom in Malaysia. Photo: Steve Cornish|
In this odd sentence there are 5 words of Malay origin. Can you spot them?
Okay, here goes the answer:
Launch comes from the Malay words Malay “lancharan” (boat) and “lanchar” (velocity without effort).
Gecko comes from the Malay world “gekok”, which is an imitation of the sound the geckos make.
Bamboo stems from the Kannada word “bamboo”, which was introduced to English through Malay.
Cootie comes from the Malay “kutu”, which means “lice” (charming).
And ketchup, go figure, comes from the Malay word “kechap”, which is a fish sauce (!!).
Wasn’t that fun?
It is evident that the Malay is more closely connected to English than a lot of people think. These words of Malay origin were only some of the most-commonly used in daily English, but there is actually quite a list of examples, as you can read here, in this Wikipedia article.
Some of them are more obvious than others, like “gong” (which I would have bet it was Korean!) or “cockatoo”. But some others are still pretty surprising, like “amok” –as in, running amok- or “agar” –for foodies and gourmands, it should be a pretty familiar word-.
Point is, while Malay will probably not come up in the list of the main languages to workon in an international business strategy, it is still a very influential language. More than 215 million people around the world speak Malay nowadays, and to address this whole audience you need a good team of native translators that can speak their language. And I don’t mean that only in a literal sense; you need someone who knows how to talk to these people to attract their attention and interest.
We obviously offer best-in-class translation services in all the main languages, but we have more than 100 more languages in our database – Malay and many other rarer languages among them. If you want to go global and need to make sure that no part of the Asian continent –or the world!- is left behind uninformed, count on our skills to adapt any translation or address the audience with our expert interpretation services in the most efficient way.
Check out all the languages we work with. And if you happen to need a translation service in a language or dialect that is not listed, don’t dismiss us right away – ask us first! We are confident that we can come to a quick and affordable solution faster than you think!